Saturday, November 8, 2014

Miss Byrdie Dills

After days and days of rain,
magic slips into the Blue Ridge Mountains.
Sapphire skies reflect in puddles,

three wedges of geese resound
across the Groves' farm.
I will not succumb

to the power of autumn until
Miss Byrdie bursts forth.
Memories stir like apple butter

bubbling over an open fire.
The mountain woman cared
for her family and flowers,

gave rootlets to neighbors.
I cannot remember her face,
but when the mums explode

with colors each fall,
Miss Byrdie spills fragrance
upon a breeze.
                       --Brenda Kay Ledford
Reprinted from:  CREPE ROSES
                          Poetry Book
                          by:  Brenda Kay Ledford

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

A Blue Ridge Thanksgiving

Granddaddy Bob Ledford moved a family to Franklin, NC one November in 1920.  He drove his wagon over the rugged Blue Ridge Mountains though the wilderness.  There were no paved roads back then.

Thanksgiving was coming and Granddaddy figured he would get home in time to eat Grandma Minnie's pumpkin pie.  The weather had been mild, and he did not anticipate any problems.  It took days to drive to Franklin, but he made it fine to the little mountain town.

As he headed back to Clay County, NC, Granddaddy noticed angry clouds churning above Chunky Gal Mountain.  The wind whipped his face like a razorblade.  Snowflakes twirled like feathers to the ground.  When he came to Buck Creek, Granddaddy could not ford it because the water was frozen.  He had to drive the team on ice.

Moment by moment the temperature dropped.  Granddaddy stopped in the woods to build a fire.  He was going to spend the night there, but couldn't sleep on the cold ground.  He gave up and moved on.

Granddaddy came to Rainbow Springs and saw a dim light flickering in the distance.  He happened on a log cabin.  He explained his circumstances to the mountain couple who opened the door and invited him to stay overnight with them.

After a hardy breakfast, Granddaddy headed home.  As he drove the team of horses through the snow, Granddaddy shot a wild turkey.  It graced the table as he and his family celebrated a Blue Ridge Thanksgiving.

Bob Ledford thanked the Lord for the mountain couple who saved his life during the Appalachian snowstorm.

I wish my blogger friends a very Happy Thanksgiving and blessed November.


The morning light ricochets through the poplars echoing with birdsong. Native orchids peek through the pine needles on the woodland...